The 1st Hour With A PSP Go

I couldn’t help it. Launch day of the PSP Go and I suddenly found myself splashing out £225 for my 3rd PSP. Madness, but here are my thoughts after one hour of using the device.

0:00 – Looking at the box. Nice design Sony. But the first thing you will notice is the size. It is tiny, the same length and width as a PS3 game case. There are lots of PSN logos and warning signs about epilepsy. But enough about the box, I’m eager to open it up.

0:05 – Box open, the Piano Black PSP Go sits loud and proud at the very top. It’s covered in some plastic packaging, while the cable (just the one as it’s both USB and power) and plug are sat behind the console. The instruction manual is branded the same as the box (although I doubt I’ll ever read it) and there is a disc with Media Go on it, Sony’s iTunes equivalent, but for the PSP. Seems a bit odd that they provide it on one of those old fashioned disc things, what with this being a download-only console, don’t you think?

0:10 – Ok, box emptied, it is time for me to use the PSP Go for the very first time. They say first impressions count and the PSP Go makes a very good first impression. The first thing you will realise is just how small and how light the machine really is. It’s hard to believe how something this tiny can power a title like Gran Turismo, but apparently so. Also, unlike my PSP Slim & Lite 2000, the Go feels like a quality bit of kit. It is really well screwed together and seems to be made of high quality plastics. You get the feeling that a lot of time and effort has gone into designing this product and it goes some way in justifying the price.

0:15 – So, time to turn it on. The power switch is exactly the same as my old PSP, so I feel right at home. I slide the screen up with a satisfactory thud, and use the D-pad buttons for the first time. You get the usual start up screen options (time and date etc) and while the buttons are smaller than previous PSP’s, the feel a lot more at home. It’s difficult to describe, but in the past I always felt the buttons on a PSP where sat on top of the console, whereas with the Go, they feel part of the console. The analogue nub seems to operate in a much smoother way too.

0:25 – The clock looks really good (just slide down the screen and a large analogue clock graces the screen).

0:27 – Oh, and the R and L buttons look and feel completely different, but after a few clicks feel all the better for it.

0:30 – Time to go online. Just scroll across to the Network option and…..I need to download firmware 6.10 before I can sign in.

0:32 – Turns out 6.10 is very small and downloads very quickly. Time to install it, should take mere seconds. Only it didn’t, because you need a fully (or nearly fully) charged battery to install the update and as will most electronic devices, it’s only got about 20% charge out of the box. So now I have a shiny new PSP Go plugged into the wall while I sit and watch the clock on its screen. Still, time to look up how to claim my free copy of Gran Turismo on TSA.

0:45 – Well, I cheated a bit and went out when it was charging, so technically more than an hour has passed. But for all intents and purposes, let’s imagine that I left it for 15 minutes and installed the update. Once signed into the PSN it was time to see what was available on the PlayStation Store for my little PSP Go. The range of titles available is quite vast, which is great to see Sony living up to their promise of a mixture of new and old games from day 1. It’s the PSP Minis that catch my attention first and I am eager to try out some miniature sized fun for my miniature sized console. Browsing the PS Store is a cinch (exactly the same as with any other PSP) and I plump for Hero of Sparta. At 47mb, it shouldn’t take too long to download.

0:50 While I wait for Hero of Sparta to download, I have a play around with Media Go on my netbook. Instead of using the disc provided in the box, I head to Sony’s website and download it from there. It is quick to download, but takes a little longer to install that I had hoped. Still, once up and running, it’s relatively easy to use and you can import all your music and pictures on your computer into its library (even any iTunes playlists, which is an excellent idea). I have a further look around the PlayStation Store and add the demo for Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman to my download queue.

0:60 Well, my 1st hour with my PSP Go has come to an end. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised with the experience so far. The real proof of the pudding will come over the next few days where I intend to use it a lot. Will I still get cramp from the re-positioned controls? Are PSP Minis any good? How does the PSP upgrade treat system work? Either way, stay tuned to TSA for all of our impression on the PlayStation Portable’s rebirth.